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PETA pushes for excise tax on meat

Should hunters -- or anyone who enjoys a steak or a hamburger -- have to pay extra for that little indulgence?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals thinks so. One of the nation's largest anti-hunting organizations, the group has kicked off a "Tax Meat" Campaign, proposing a 10-cent-per-pound excise tax on meat. Animal activists have also asked federal lawmakers to give tax breaks to those who have sworn off the consumption of animals.

PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk sent letters to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urging them to extend to vegetarians the same tax breaks that hybrid car owners receive for purchasing vehicles with low carbon emissions.

Newkirk claims vegetarians are responsible for fewer greenhouse-gas emissions and "environmental degradations" than meat-eaters.

Grant awarded

The Ligonier Valley Endowment recently provided the Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited with a grant to support the chapter's "Youth Conservation and Fly Fishing Program."

That program, for boys and girls ages 12 to 16, encourages awareness of coldwater conservation while teaching kids to tie flies and fly fish.

The grant will enable the chapter to purchase badly needed equipment and materials to further improve the program. For more information on the program, contact Greg Hines at 724-454-4968 or Lou Izzo at 724-396-0933.

Field day

The law-enforcement officers of Westmoreland County are taking reservations for their annual youth field day and mentored youth pheasant hunt, both of which will be held at Mammoth Park.

This year's youth field day is for 150 children ages 9 to 15. It will be held July 21 and includes opportunities to shoot rifles, shotguns, bows and muzzleloaders, fly tying, turtle catching and canoeing demonstrations and more.

There's no cost to attend, but prior registration is required by calling Ed Farzati at 724-423-2931 or visiting www.co.westmoreland.pa.us/parks .

Target Day

Gov. Ed Rendell has declared Saturday as Pennsylvania Scholastic Clay Target Day.

That's the day when the scholastic clay target program's Pennsylvania State Championship will be decided in Wellsville, York County. Seventy school-age competitors representing eight teams from all across the state -- one of them from Westmoreland County -- are expected to compete.

Bassmaster Classic

The 2008 Bassmaster Classic will be held on 56,000-acre Lake Hartwell in Greenville, S.C., on Feb. 22-24, according to an announcement from ESPN.

The Classic has only been held in South Carolina once before, in 1973. This time, 50 anglers will compete for cash and prizes worth nearly $1.2 million. The first-place finisher will win $500,000.

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